Sticking to these runners diet guidelines will keep you lean and improve your performance
- Carbohydrates This is the most important food in a runners diet as this is where your energy comes from. There are 2 groups, simple and complex carbohydrates.
- Complex carbohydrates adsorb slowly into the system and allow you to run for longer.These are foods like bread, cereals, pasta and most vegetables. These foods should be the bulk of what you eat.
Simple carbohydrates are sugars, they absorb quickly and give you a short energy burst.
- Fats Fats, you guessed it, are not going to form a large part of a runners diet. Foods like Butter, cheese, red meat, ice cream, mayonnaise, eggs and yes chocolate too should only form a very small part of your diet.
- Proteins This is what your muscles are mostly made of, however too much protein gets stored in the body as fat. Foods like fish, beans, nuts, poultry, low fat milk and cheese are high in protein but should should only be eaten in small amounts.
- Vitamins and Minerals While running your body loses nutrients faster than it normally would. It is a good to use a vitamin supplement, specifically for runners to make sure that you are getting all the nutrients you require. This is especially important if you do not have the time to eat properly balanced meals.
- Hydration A most important part of running is to make sure that you drink enough fluids while running. Dehydration can lead to exhaustion, cramping, heat stroke and a lot more serious problems. As a general rule you should drink about 200ml of fluid for every 20 minutes of running, this will obviously vary from person to person.
Drink plenty of water to make sure your system is well hydrated.
On the run you need to drink a sports drink like Energade, Powerade or Gatorade as well, as your body will be losing electrolytes along the way.
After your run it is important to rehydrate again also with a sports drink as mentioned before.
On very long runs I like to eat as well, normally this would be a Marmite/Bovril sandwich or a small baked potato with salt on. Its’ a change from just drinking all the time and gives me a sorely needed boost.